Manage Pain with Acupuncture

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

The more we understand about acupuncture, the more it becomes nearly impossible to doubt its pain-relieving potential.

Traditional Chinese Medicine goes back thousands of years, and the theory of acupuncture has been a crucial underpin the entire time. Testing whether these ancient “alternative” methods of healing actually work has been going on for decades and, in so doing, we have witnessed the collision of ancient beliefs and modern science.

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Well, the scientific validity of Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating pain just got a boost. It comes courtesy of the latest issue of “Anesthesia & Analgesia,” which happens to be the official journal of the international group that deals with pain relief: the International Anesthesia Research Society.

Researchers at the University of Munich used special tests to measure changes in pain sensitivity among 24 healthy people who received acupuncture. Focusing on the leg, acupuncture caused pain thresholds increase by up to 50%. This increased ability to handle pain was seen not only in the leg receiving the needles — but in the other leg as well.

It’s important to know that researchers used “quantitative sensory testing,” which is often used to help doctors discover any injuries to nerve fibers. It is used when a patient suffers chronic pain. Included is a person’s perception of hot and cold (thermal) and pressure applied to the skin (mechanical). How the patient responds provides important clues as to what type of nerve is bothered and thus what treatments can be used.

In this study, such tests pointed to “A delta” pain fibers and “C” pain fibers. These were found to be affected by acupuncture. The effects were modest, but researchers believe they provide the basis for future studies in individuals with chronic pain, where the effects might be more dramatic.

The study used manual acupuncture alone or with some electrical stimulation. An experienced acupuncturist applied the needles to the points that correspond to managing pain. In other words, the theories of acupuncture met with the scientific analysis of pain, and there was a connection.

The researchers call this “remarkable.”